Phillip had a NorWesCon meeting today, so I planned to return a book to the library. The Capitol Hill Library is a short walk up the hill from our apartment. I, however, had planned to return the book to the International District/Chinatown Library. I planned to get there on the new First Hill Streetcar.
Phillip woke up feeling ill, and decided to skip the meeting, and stay home. I decided to take my streetcar joyride anyway. Phillip told me to go without him.
As I walked out of the apartment, at around 10:30, Phillip told me to do something crazy while I was out. I replied, “Like going all the way to the International District just to return a library book?” “In addition to that,” he said.
I got to the streetcar stop at the not-yet-open Capitol Hill light rail station. It was a bright, sunny, slightly chilly, day. The sign said I had an 8 minute wait for the next streetcar. I tapped my ORCA card. Less than 8 minutes later, a yellow streetcar arrived. Eight minutes after I had arrived, we left.
I was a little concerned by the fact that there were only three passengers in the streetcar, including me, when we left Capitol Hill. As we went along, however, there were people at every stop, as well as people leaving, so although the streetcar was never packed, it did get full and was very busy.
There were frequent announcements from our driver that the First Hill Streetcar now charges a fare, and to be prepared to show either a tapped ORCA card or a streetcar ticket.
A couple ran for the streetcar when it stopped on 14th, and dashed through the door. The driver reminded them, over the speakers, that the streetcar now charges a fare. He told them, in a friendly tone, that they had time to step out and tap their ORCA cards before he left. They did, and made it back into the streetcar before it left.
I exited at 7th Avenue, and wandered around the International District for a while. Then I made my way over to the library and returned the book. Then I browsed around the library a while. It’s a tiny, storefront branch, so it didn’t take long to browse through it.
I wandered around the International District some more. Then I decided to do something crazy. I walked down into International District/Chinatown Station and boarded a southbound Link light rail train.
I exited at Beacon Hill Station and walked down the street to the Beacon Hill Library.
The Beacon Hill Library is my favorite of Seattle’s branch libraries. I love the curvy, multi-surface design of the exterior, and the way light shines though the upper windows inside. Plus, I love looking at all the languages available in that one little library. It has even more variety of languages than the International District/Chinatown branch, I’d guess.
I’d brought my eReader with me, although I knew I’d be too busy sightseeing to read anything. I found an empty chair in the Beacon Hill Library and spent at least an hour reading.
I walked back to Beacon Hill Station. The thought came to me that I could catch a 60 bus and get closer to home – and get there quicker. I was getting tired. I decided to take light rail, however. I tapped my ORCA card and took the elevator down to the platform.
There were two Ticket Inspectors waiting on the platform. They boarded the front train – the same one I did. It was standing-room-only on the train. They checked everyone’s fare. (I didn’t notice anyone without their fare.) The two Inspectors exited at the next station – SoDo – and went into the rear train.
I exited at International District/Chinatown Station, and walked to the nearest streetcar stop, on 5th Avenue. A beige-ish streetcar arrived – the same one our yellow streetcar passed this morning. I found a seat, but it was soon standing-room-only.
I rode to the end of the line, at Capitol Hill Station. I walked along Broadway to QFC and did some grocery shopping. Then I walked home, past the Capitol Hill Library. I got home around 2:00.
It was a fun, crazy little outing.